Objective: To evaluate the incidence of duplicate medication orders before and after computerized provider order entry (CPOE) with clinical decision support (CDS) implementation and identify contributing factors.
Design: CPOE with duplicate medication order alerts was implemented in a 400-bed Northeastern US community tertiary care teaching hospital. In a pre-implementation post-implementation design, trained nurses used chart review, computer-generated reports of medication orders, provider alerts, and staff reports to identify medication errors in two intensive care units (ICUs).
Measurement: Medication error data were adjudicated by a physician and a human factors engineer for error stage and type. A qualitative analysis of duplicate medication ordering errors was performed to identify contributing factors.
Results: Data were collected for 4147 patient-days pre-implementation and 4013 patient-days post-implementation. Duplicate medication ordering errors increased after CPOE implementation (pre: 48 errors, 2.6% total; post: 167 errors, 8.1% total; p<0.0001). Most post-implementation duplicate orders were either for the identical order or the same medication. Contributing factors included: (1) provider ordering practices and computer availability, for example, two orders placed within minutes by different providers on rounds; (2) communication and hand-offs, for example, duplicate orders around shift change; (3) CDS and medication database design, for example confusing alert content, high false-positive alert rate, and CDS algorithms missing true duplicates; (4) CPOE data display, for example, difficulty reviewing existing orders; and (5) local CDS design, for example, medications in order sets defaulted as ordered.
Conclusions: Duplicate medication order errors increased with CPOE and CDS implementation. Many work system factors, including the CPOE, CDS, and medication database design, contributed to their occurrence.